Why Real Estate Agents Love the New 9 to 5

the new 9 to 5Before the new 9 to 5, when the U.S. workforce toiled during normal office hours, people lived their lives outside of that time. Employees crammed dental appointments into lunch breaks, Dads watched peewee soccer games on weekends, and if parents attended a weekday dance recital, well, that’s what vacation or sick days were for.

No more. Working from 9 to 5 is so last century. Technology has cut the ties that bind employees to office desks, allowing workers–especially people who work in real estate– to make deals on their iPhones at Starbucks or on their iPads at the beach. The new work ethic is no longer “Show up on time;” it’s “Get the job done.”

“My time is my own,” says Meg Schmitz, a senior consultant with FranChoice, a franchise consultancy group based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Schmitz is an independent contractor who lives in Western Springs, Illinois, and matches franchises to prospective franchisees.

“I’ve got a laptop, iPad, and smartphone,” Schmitz says. “I can work when we’re fishing on a bass boat. I’ve been known to take a picture for clients and send it to my office from my kayak.”

Does this new work arrangement make workers happy?

You bet it does, says Dr. Lonnie Golden, professor of economics and labor-employment relations at Penn State University who researches how work hours relate to employee happiness and productivity.

During a recent study, “Work Schedule Flexibility: A Contributor to Happiness?,” Golden compared the frequency of flexible work schedules with levels of happiness. Employees with rigid, fixed schedules reported they were “very happy” less than 10 percent of the time, while workers who “often” change their work hours reported being very happy almost 20 percent of the time.

In a new study currently under review, Golden found that flexible schedules have “significant benefits” on worker well-being, including improved job satisfaction and reduced work stress.

“Employees love the flexibility,” Golden says.

Employers are getting the message, and more than 27.5 percent of full-time wage and salary workers are allowed to work flexible hours, according to a May 2004 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest figures available. The Bureau found that men were more likely to have flexible schedules than women and that management, sales, and office workers had more flexible work lives than construction, maintenance, and transportation workers.

Millennial workers, the future of the workforce, rate workplace flexibility as a prime reason for choosing a particular job. “Millennials at Work,” a global survey of workers age 31 or under, found that “flexible worker hours” is the second most important workplace benefit, behind only “personal learning and development” and ahead of “cash bonuses.” The new 9 to 5 is popular.

Flexibility of the new 9 to 5 in real estate

Last year, Ben Belack racked up $25 million in residential real estate sales in Los Angeles working from his office, home, car, and even a Hawaii vacation with his girlfriend.

“I had a listing I was launching,” says Belack, an agent with The Agency in L.A.  “We were at the pool, and I was on the phone. It wasn’t my girlfriend’s first choice, but she was patient about it.”

Belack loves selling real estate because “I’m not chained to a desk every day. I’m breathing fresh air, seeing beautiful properties, and talking to people, which is a lot of fun,” he says. “If I need to go to a doctor, I don’t have to ask my boss permission.”

The downside to all this freedom and flexibility, Belack says, is that he’s “on call” pretty much 24/7.

“Clients want to talk to you when they’re done working, which means nights and weekends,” says Belack, who estimates he works 60 hours weekly spread over seven days with the new 9 to 5 schedule. “I had a client who texted me at 11 p.m., ‘Do you have a minute. I want to pick your brain.’ Everyone wants me at all hours. At a certain point, I have to breathe.”

But breathing, in real estate, can cost money. Belack is still tortured by a possible $20 million deal-that-got-away because he was enjoying a Friday “date night” with his girlfriend and didn’t service a client until the next morning.

“That is what haunts you,” he says. “There has to be a line in the sand, but it’s hard. You have to run your business the way you want to. When you are a new agent, you must foster and nurture every lead. It’s hard to drop that feeling. But the guys who are selling over $100 million a year are blocking time for work and time for personal. They say, my practice is going to be okay if I’m offline for a few hours.”

Adam Hergenrother loves hungry workers like Belack. Hergenrother owns real estate brokerages in 10 states and employs almost 200 real estate agents.

“I like to hire workaholics,” says Hergenrother, CEO of Hergenrother Enterprises headquartered in Colchester, Vermont. “If you love what you do, it’s not work. It’s a passion.”

Living with all this flexibility of the new 9 to 5

 Kim Shepherd is the CEO of Decision Toolbox, a virtual recruitment firm with 100 employees working from homes throughout the United States. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Shepherd was working from her home in Laguna Beach, California, watching an Orca glide through the Pacific Ocean.

“The technology revolution has changed how we look at time,” says Shepherd, who counts real estate brokerages as clients. “You can do anything, anywhere. Going to an office is antiquated. It’s no longer work/life balance; it’s life balance. The reality is, work and life are one and the same.”

Shepherd says the real estate agents she recruits are professionals who “want to run their own shop.”

“I don’t think anyone wakes up and says, ‘I want to sell a home,’’’ Shepherd says. “They wake up and say, ‘I want to control my clock and my earning potential.’ Real estate fits the bill.”

Real Estate Prospecting Ideas

Real Estate Prospecting Ideas: Starting Off on the Right Foot

You can’t expect real estate clients to come to you. Rather, you have to search for clients—and you have to make it a priority—especially early on in your real estate career. As a new agent, you can’t just count on referrals, word-of-mouth, and marketing and promotional efforts such as mailers, billboards, bench signs, and social media ads. While all those activities are good ways to get your name out there, they are not the same as proactively seeking out new business. To start your career off on the right foot, you’re going to need strong real estate prospecting ideas, as well as a solid prospecting plan. Use the following steps to build and maintain a list of good real estate leads.

Set realistic prospecting goals

Calculate how many prospects you need to contact in order to lock down a buyer’s or seller’s listing appointment. Veteran agents suggest that beginners start with five contacts per day, one secured lead per day, and one secured listing appointment per week. However, you should also talk to your broker about the firm’s average or what is standard for your market.

Remember that you’re new at this. Like most people, you will need a warm-up period to gain confidence and ramp up your prospecting skills. So it is better to set more manageable goals initially.

Develop several real estate prospecting ideas, and commit to them

Prospecting is essentially any activity that directly involves verbal or in-person contact with people for the sole purpose of obtaining their business. Here are several real estate prospecting ideas and activities to try:

  • Call or visit people you know.
  • Canvass neighborhoods through cold calls or visits.
  • Contact the owners of expired, for sale by owner, and foreclosure listings.
  • Call former satisfied clients for referrals.
  • Sponsor an open house for a seller, in which you actively solicit other people’s business.
  • Volunteer for floor duty at your brokerage.
  • Follow up with referrals that come through your website and other promotional efforts.

Spend your time wisely

Certainly you want quantity, because the more leads you build the better your chances of drumming up enough business to meet your goals. However, you don’t want to waste your time focusing on cold leads and dead ends. If your prospects are not ready to make a real estate decision, don’t make them a top priority.

During initial conversations with real estate prospects, ask them how motivated they are to buy or sell and when they plan to make a decision. Then prioritize those people who are willing and able to do so in the shortest time frame.

Don’t put it off

Inconsistent and delayed real estate prospecting is particularly detrimental because of the lag time between when you start working with a client to the time you get paid. Keep in mind that it usually takes between 60 and 90 days from the time you start prospecting to when you receive a commission check.

From Day 1, make sure that you spend enough time developing real estate prospecting ideas, following through on prospecting goals and activities, and following up with your contacts. This will help ensure that you secure—and maintain—a solid amount of quality leads.

Make prospecting part of your daily routine

To create a pipeline of real estate prospects that will grow and sustain your business, you have to prospect every day. Making a bunch of calls for two days straight and then nothing for a week won’t cut it. Instead, you need to treat prospecting the same way you would any other important appointment. Clear your schedule and focus entirely on it. At the end of each day, evaluate your prospecting efforts and set objectives for the next day.

Know the law

Since much of your prospecting will be over the phone, it is vital that you know about and adhere to the legal policies of the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR). The DNCR state and national databases contain the phone numbers of consumers who have elected not to be solicited by companies they do not already have business dealings with. Fail to abide, and you could be penalized or fined—up to $11,000 per violation. So make sure that you register with the DNCR and check what numbers are already listed in the national database.

Now that you know what to do, get on the phone, tap social media, and hit the streets. The sooner you start building your pipeline of prospects, the quicker you can start making money.


How much money does a real estate agent make?

One of the benefits associated with a career in real estate is the unlimited earnings potential. Unlike salaried or wage-paying jobs, a commission-based job allows you to get back in income what you put into it in effort and energy. So, what is the typical real estate salary range? How does commission work? And what factors will impact your annual earnings? We’ve put together some information to help answer these common questions regarding real estate salary and earnings potential.

How much money does a real estate agent make?

If you watch enough TV programs about real estate, you might think 
that all real estate agents make millions. Realistically, that’s not the case. According to the NAR 2015 Member Profile, the median gross income of REALTORS® (and remember, REALTOR® is a professional designation; not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®) was $45,800 in 2014. This is 25% higher than the median annual wage for all workers. It also represents the average of the combined total of people who work part time and those who work full time. Furthermore, real estate is often a referral-based business. Those who have been involved in the business the longest typically are the most successful. Those with 16 years or more experience earned the highest real estate income: approximately $68,000 on average.

The report also points out the correlation between income and the number of hours worked. Those who typically worked less than 20 hours per week had a median gross income of $9,700 a year, while those who worked 60 hours or more per week had a median gross income of $94,200.

Some progressive brokerages are moving to a salary-based structure to appeal to new agents—particularly millennials—who may be interested
in a more reliable source of income. While this is not for everyone, it’s certainly an important consideration if you’re comparing brokerages.

How commission works

How much will you make when you 
sell a home? On real estate reality television, we often see agents sell a home for $400,000 at a 6% commission rate. That would be $24,000 with just one transaction. Or would it be?

Commissions are typically paid by the property sellers and—by law—are negotiable. “Standard” real estate commissions typically range from 3% to 7% for residential sales, depending on the local area. That commission is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. For the purposes of this example, we’ll use 6%.

If you sell a home for $400,000, the 6% commission is $24,000. If another agent was involved in the transaction, your split becomes 3%, or $12,000.

Now you need to take into account your brokerage split. New agents typically have to give their broker a bigger split, because commission splits are typically tied to experience and the amount of business you bring in. If you have a 70/30 split with your broker, that leaves you with $8,400.

Variables that impact your real estate salary

Your location

While the commission rates tend to stay in that 3% to 7% range, the dollar amounts of real estate commissions vary greatly depending on the location and the average sales price in your community.

The local economy

Economic fluctuation is another factor that may impact your real estate salary from year to year. When job growth is high, and more people are moving to your area, home sales rise. If the local economy is depressed, you’ll need to work harder to make transactions happen.

Your real estate expenses

As an independent contractor, you’ll usually be responsible for your own licensing education and fees, health insurance, vehicle expenses, marketing and advertising, internet service, MLS fees, brokerage fees, continuing education, and more. These expenses will affect your net real estate salary. According to the NAR 
study mentioned above, a REALTOR’s average expenses in 2014 were $6,710, not including brokerage splits.

Your ability to network

Real estate is a relationship-based business. Your real estate salary is directly correlated to how well you network and make connections, and your ability to turn those connections into transactions. Make a point of connecting with at least five new people each day, and grow your sphere of influence to maximize your real estate salary potential.

Exploring a career in real estate? Browse our blog for tips and tools to help launch your real estate career.

Shortage of Appraisers, Home Prices at Record Highs & Drone Photography in Real Estate

This week’s real estate news focuses on the good—home prices on the rise but a bubble is not on the horizon, the bad—a nationwide shortage of appraisers means deals are delayed or even lost, and the ugly—the home from the movie The Silence of the Lambs is up for sale, and you won’t believe what that listing looks like! Luckily there’s more good than bad—or ugly—as we round out the week with positive news for home buyers and how drones might soon impact the marketing for your next listing.

‘Massive’ shortage of appraisers causing home sales delays

With housing demand on the rise, one of the most-needed players for closing the deal seems to be less and less available. Appraisers, the pros mortgage lenders depend on to determine home value, are shrinking in numbers. CNBC reports that this is leading to home closing delays, costing buyers and sellers money—and even the entire deal, in some cases.

Home prices are approaching record highs, but S&P/Case-Shiller says this isn’t a bubble set to blow

The good news is that home prices are continuing to reach record highs. The even better news is that this doesn’t mean another collapse is on the horizon. Find out why the folks at S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index are confident we are not on the verge of another bubble.

Here’s some good news for house hunters

The Census Bureau reports that median household income for middle-class Americans rose faster than U.S home prices—for the first time since 2011. This is good news for those trying to break into the housing marketing. Read more to find out how this might impact real estate sales in your area.

Killer deal: The creepy ‘Silence of The Lambs’ house is up for sale

If you’ve ever had to get creative with a listing, you’ll appreciate how one real estate agent presented her listing for the house where The Silence of the Lambs was filmed. She offered a no-holds-barred glimpse into the fascinating history of this home with some selling points that might just “slay” you.

New regulations make drones a home seller and Realtor’s best friend

Could a drone be part of the marketing of your next property for sale? The Federal Aviation Association revised its regulations on drones, paving the way for wider use in real estate. Although drone photography is often used for high-end, luxury homes, experts expect it to become the standard for homes of all sizes and price points.



By: Real Estate Express

Finding a Real Estate Mentor and Cultivating a Successful Relationship

Finding a Real Estate Mentor and Cultivating a Successful Relationship

Finding a Real Estate MentorAs a new real estate agent, you have been doing all of the “right” things to launch your career. You’re networking. You’re learning about your market. You’re working on a prospects list. Still, getting started in real estate can be challenging, especially in the first year or so. Finding a real estate mentor and cultivating a successful relationship could help you out tremendously by enhancing your ability to launch a long, successful real estate career.

The first step to mentorship is probably the toughest. You may know plenty of admirable, successful real estate professionals who could be prospective mentors. But how do you find the right mentor for you? And further, how do you get that person to want to help you? Read on for tips on finding a real estate mentor and building a solid relationship that will help steer your career in the right direction.

How real estate mentoring works

Not everyone understands what mentoring is, or how to find a prospective real estate mentor and develop a relationship with that person. Here are some common myths about mentoring:

  • Myth: The mentee needs to wait until he or she is found by a mentor.
  • Myth: Mentoring is all about the mentee.
  • Myth: The mentor relationship is a one-way association.
  • Myth: The mentee needs to go right out and ask for a mentor.
  • Myth: The mentor will teach the mentee directly.

A real estate mentor is an adviser. He or she offers advice and feedback when it is needed. This is not an apprenticeship wherein you will learn a trade. Don’t look for a mentor hoping they will teach you everything you need to know to be successful. Instead, it is important to look for someone with whom to create a long-term relationship. You can’t be mentored in a few weeks or months; it is a process—not an internship. And it has to develop naturally.

Successful North Carolina real estate agent Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, is a huge proponent of harnessing the power of a mentor-mentee relationship for success. He also firmly believes in making the relationship a two-way street: “My suggestion is to start by giving back—ask them ‘how can I help you grow your business?’ Once you start helping them, they are going to be much more open to taking the time out of their day to help you.”

Finding a real estate mentor

You don’t want to look for someone who simply has the job you want, or the success you would like to attain. Find someone with whom you share similarities, someone with the skills and strengths you would like to hone. Don’t be in a hurry; it may take some time to find the right person. You might consider more than one person before deciding on who you ultimately want to approach.

Let the relationship evolve naturally

Don’t force the mentoring relationship, but let it evolve. Keep your expectations in check. Like other relationships, it has to grow over time, based on mutual trust and respect. Forcing it risks ruining a potential mentoring relationship before it can become established. Take the time to nurture it.

Don’t go when the going gets tough

At some point, you are going to get some critical feedback from your real estate mentor. This is a good thing, because it means the relationship has become comfortable enough for him or her to call you out on something. Remember: Your reaction when that happens is crucial to your growth. Do your best to accept the criticism gracefully and heed your mentor’s advice. After all, getting better at being a real estate agent is your goal—and nobody ever said it would be easy. This is what will ultimately make you grow as a real estate professional.

Commit to the mentor relationship

Mentoring takes real time and real work, so once you make the commitment, stick with it. You and your mentor should both be in it for the long haul. Finding a real estate mentor, cultivating a strong mentor relationship, and adding it to your career strategy will help ensure that your real estate career is a success.

Professional Appearance Tips for Real Estate Agents

Professional Appearance Tips for Real Estate Agents

Professional Appearance Tips for Real Estate AgentsIn the real estate business, your image is projected through your professional appearance. Some clients will judge you by your appearance just as much as your reputation, how knowledgeable you are, and how well you communicate. When meeting with potential clients, keep in mind that first impressions matter.

For example, this NAR article on “The Importance of Image and Appearance” quotes three Realtor® clients regarding whether having purple hair and tattoos or driving an ugly car would influence their decision to use the agent. One client replied that she would have run away when meeting an agent with purple hair at an open house. Another was impressed because the agent drove the same quality car as the client. Finally, the last one stated clearly that he believed in first impressions. It concluded with, “You should be concerned about how your clients perceive you.”

To help you project the right image and professional appearance, we’ve put together some tips on how to look and dress the part of a successful real estate businessperson.

Professional appearance and attire

Appearance is extremely important, as most clients tend to hire agents based on appearance and gut feeling. Obviously, men wearing freshly pressed shirts with a smart-looking tie and well-polished shoes look professional. However, too much jewelry distracts people in the wrong way. So keep it simple. For instance, you may decide to wear just a watch, and maybe one other piece of jewelry. And remember: Neatly trimmed and clean fingernails count.

It’s also a good idea to keep up with current fashion trends. Having a fashionable hair style helps, too. Male agents can turn to men’s fashion magazines like Esquire, GQ, and VMAN. Female agents can keep abreast of women’s fashion trends by consulting Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue. Marie Claire also offers useful advice for female real estate professionals, such as having well-maintained manicures and wearing conservative-length skirts.

Chicago Agent Magazine recommends avoiding “glitz and glamour” and looking like the real you. Also, “dress for your market” by wearing attire appropriate to your surroundings. Who wears a suit and tie to the beach? A sharp blazer and dark-wash jeans work better for young, hip regions. Finally, make sure you “act like a professional.” No matter what you wear, always act in a genuine, respectful manner.

Other ways to appear professional

Besides professional attire, driving a popularly desired car sends a strong message to potential clients. One broker in Washington State always traded for a new Jaguar sedan every year. She even let her agents borrow the “Jag” to drive wealthy buyers around fancy neighborhoods for showings. The agents reported that initially seeing the “Jag” always brought a smile to the potential buyer’s face.

The appearance of your office also sends a strong message to first-time visitors. Keep it organized and meticulously clean, and display attractive curios and artwork. A messy desk is the sign of a disorganized agent.

Blending in

Not every location, situation, or prospective client requires trendy, ultra-professional clothing. In an article titled “People Buy Your Appearance – Before They Will Buy Real Estate From You!” a Washington State mortgage company recommends dressing the way prospective clients dress.

When a Zillow comment board asked how real estate agents should dress, answers from 22 commenters included “it depends on the area of the country.” In resort communities, for instance, most agents wear semi-casual clothes. Selling ranches requires jeans, western shirts, and cowboy boots. Hot summer weather allows for dress shorts and dresses. The type of property, weather, or client determines how you dress. Always have a change of clothing ready when the situation requires it.

The young-looking agent’s dilemma

Professional appearance goes beyond how you dress and what type of cool car you drive. Young agents report discrimination against looking “too young.” For example, a recently licensed 23-year-old who looks like he is still in high school overcame initial client perceptions by wearing a blazer, shirt, and tie. As a result, potential clients stopped asking how much experience he had and instead asked genuine real estate questions.

Professional appearance tips for real estate agents vary depending upon the situation. Different types of property, weather, and clients dictate the appropriate professional attire. When you need to look like a successful businessperson, either dress conservatively or follow fashion trends. Keep your office clean and organized. Maintain a stylish haircut. Blend in with your client’s tastes when you can so that they relate to you and trust you. Remember: Proper professional appearance leads to success.

 Not licensed yet? Earn your real estate license online at Real Estate Express.

About the author

Steven Rich, MBA has over three years of experience as a successful real estate agent. He was awarded the Top Condo Salesperson for two of those years by his real estate company. Steven has served as Associate Editor for a real estate magazine and is the author of a 104-page e-book on How to Buy, Develop, Lease, and Sell Real Estate.

Four Ways to Sell a House to International Buyers

Four Ways to Sell a House to International Buyers


Selling a house can be tiresome and tedious, especially if the domestic real estate market is already too saturated or too populated. These are perhaps some of the reasons as to why home sellers or agents market houses and properties to international buyers. Selling outside of the country expands your market and network, and sometimes even allows you to get more than what locals are willing to pay for your property.

On the other hand, most sellers think that selling outside of the country is difficult. But with today’s technology and various communication methods, marketing your house internationally is not that hard as it was decades ago.

  1. Post to Online Advertisement Websites


There is power in the Internet, and a lot of times, prospective buyers look for online resources. Post your property to different advertisement websites. There’s always a big chance that someone abroad is specifically looking for properties in the US, so exposing your property online as much as you can almost always returns positive feedback.

Remember to put as many photos as you can, and place the basic information right within the advertisement. Be aware that due to cultural differences, foreigners may expect your house to be sold either with or without furnishings and other appliances. Putting as much information as you can will give prospective buyers what they need to decide as to whether or not your house is the right one for them.

  1. Share to Social Media Networks


Social media networks nowadays are very powerful, and although you may not have direct friends or connections abroad, there’s a chance that one of your friends does. Put photos of the property in an album, and provide the basic information. Set the privacy to public, and ask friends to help you share the post.  Who knows – there might just be somebody who knows somebody in another part of the world who is willing to purchase a property inside the US.


  1. Make Accounts in Regional or Local Real Estate Websites


Aside from online ad websites, there are usually local counterparts of famous American classified ads. There’s Craigslist, Gumtree and other websites. Likewise, there are also local real estate websites that offer localized areas, such as Zillow or Yahoo Homes. Posting right onto local websites ensure that your property would be exposed to your target foreign market.


  1. Contact Foreign Real Estate Agents


Find real estate agents who are based in other countries, and pitch to them your property. There is no harm in trying, and there is always a chance that an agent would be willing to include your property to offer to qualified buyers. This also ensures that you get to have the nearest possible exposure to foreign buyers. Email a few agents, tell them the price and all the necessary information and photos of the property, and ask them nicely if they could help you find the right buyer.

Best Places to Relocate Your Real Estate Career

Best Places to Relocate Your Real Estate Career

Best Places to Relocate Your Real Estate CareerIf you’re thinking about relocating and taking your real estate career with you, a new report from Goodcall might help you determine the best places to relocate as a new agent. Goodcall is a research and data service that provides consumers with information and guidance regarding personal finance, career choices, academic scholarships, and much more. The organization recently published 2015’s Best Metro Areas For Real Estate Agents, which studied 150 metropolitan areas across the U.S. to determine which are the likeliest hunting grounds for beginning or aspiring residential real estate agents.

Goodcall based its conclusions on the following criteria:

  • Median real estate agent salary
  • Employment (job density, job competition, and job availability)
  • Housing affordability (percent income spent on rent)
  • Amenities per 1,000 housing units
  • Housing market health index
  • Average days a house is on the market
  • Average ratio of house sale price to house list price

Top Ten Best Places to Relocate

The top scorers are listed below, in order. If you’re considering a move, these may be the best places to relocate your real estate career:

  1. Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, Colorado (median salary: $63,300)
  2. Boulder, Colorado (median salary: $48,210)
  3. Sacramento/Roseville/Arden/Arcade, California (median salary: $59,040)
  4. Redding, California (median salary: $69,140)
  5. Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land, Texas (median salary: $56,390)
  6. Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina (median salary: $56,910)
  7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (median salary: $56,060)
  8. Reno, Nevada (median salary: $52,250)
  9. San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, California (median salary: $53,200)
  10. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, California (median salary: $54,790)

However, Carrie Wiley, director of public relations at Goodcall, emphasizes that an agent should consider the “intangibles,” as well as the hard numbers, when considering a relocation to a promising real estate market.

“With talent and hard work, and by knowing the market conditions, an agent can probably build a successful career in most markets,” she says, “and few agents will want to just pick up and move cross-country to a market that looks promising. But I would advise agents who are considering where to build their careers to look at this study and determine which markets might be in the top 10 or 15 for them, considering where they live now and how they see their careers evolving.”

Further considerations

Wiley says Goodcall publishes similar reports on various professions within the U.S. Compensation data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and includes salaries, commissions, and other fees. Compensation gets the highest weight (25%) of all the factors that determine Goodcall’s most attractive markets.

“But that’s not the whole picture,” she adds. “Most of the top markets had an average compensation of well over $50,000. Boulder, which scored second overall, reports an average compensation of $48,000, but it’s so much stronger in several other metrics. Different factors will come into play, to determine how successful an agent might be in a certain market.”

The study shows that every region of the U.S. has a few markets that look especially promising. Agents considering a relocation should consider not only the statistics, but the lifestyle of the area as it relates to their personal priorities. Here are some questions an agent might ask, about what they want out of a community in addition to career opportunities:

  • Am I planning to raise a family there?
  • Are cultural activities (education, the performing arts) a priority for me?
  • Do I want to live near a strong sports team?
  • Do I want to live near other family members?
  • Do I prefer an urban or suburban environment?
  • Will my family and I be a good fit for that demographic?

Ready to relocate your real estate career?

Before choosing among the best places to relocate, be sure to consult with each state’s real estate board to learn about real estate licensing in that state and find out if you qualify for any real estate reciprocity licensing.

Interested in beginning a career in real estate? Learn how to become a real estate agent in the quick video below.


The Property Brothers Share 4 Fixer-Upper Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Property Brothers Share 4 Fixer-Upper Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Drew and Jonathan Scott, aka the Property Brothers, are on HGTV nearly every time you turn on the channel. We know them for their real estate expertise, home renovations and interior design, but they also have a passion for branding and business which led them to a real estate investment company, a production company, four reality shows and ultimately, celebrity status. See a few tips the brothers have for you at Success.com.

You know Drew and Jonathan Scott, aka the Property Brothers, thanks to the wildly popular HGTV show of the same name. And you know they’re established real estate experts, hence why they’re always talking property, home renovations and interior design. But what you might not know is their passion for branding and business—which led to a real estate investment company, a production company, four reality shows and celebrity status.

These twins are true entrepreneurs. They launched their first empire when they were just 7, selling thousands of decorative hangers to an American paraphernalia store in Japan. Then, shortly after high school, they started their real estate business to support their budding acting careers—and quickly flipped their first house for a $50,000 profit. While that continued to grow through college, the pair kept acting and creating short films. It was after lots of auditions, show ideas and a failed stint on a series called Realtor Idol that the story we know began.

In this sit-down, Drew and Jonathan Scott share the four keys to their success. Here is what we can learn from the talented hosts about success—whether it’s in showbiz or on the entrepreneurial stage:

1. Be proactive.

Drew’s best advice for making it big? Quit making excuses.

Jonathan adds, “No one is busting down your door to make you a success. You have to show people you exist. So many say, ‘I’ve tried everything to break into this business!’ and they’re sitting at the bar. When we were trying to break into the business, we were never sitting—we were always getting our name out there.”

You can never stop marketing yourself and your business.

2. Build a distinct brand.

To make it in any business, you have to stand out and make people remember you.

“What’s your hook? How are you different from anybody else out there?” Jonathan says. “We focus on our brand and our reach and show people that we’re not isolated to real estate.

“Make sure that you’re always growing. You can start growing your brand within your community, your city. With the Internet, you can get your brand out there, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money,” he continues.

3. Do the work.

Continuous effort is the key to unlocking your true potential. Drew’s personal mantra might explain just how hard the duo works.

“We grew up on a ranch, so you learn all about the value of a dollar. You don’t get an allowance to go out and shovel the stalls,” Jonathan says. “If you really want to reap the rewards of a successful career, be willing to put in the hard work.”

Drew adds, “In the early days, we were doing 100 hours a week—networking, producing our own content, doing anything we could.”

Now, the two rarely take a vacation and have to schedule in their personal time. Some may say that’s a bad thing, but Drew disagrees. “If you want to get the most out of your time, if you’re pursuing something that you’re passionate about, you have to have balance, so scheduling your personal time is part of a busy lifestyle.”

4. Believe it is possible.

Some people will say it’s a million-to-one chance that a person can make it as an actor or host (and probably an entrepreneur, too), but Jonathan says that’s not true. “Ninety-nine percent of those people aren’t treating themselves as a business. If you’re working hard, pushing your brand the way you should, you will succeed.”

He says that sometimes just one bad audition can seal the deal on a person’s career. “It’s not that you have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be in the right place at the right timeand be prepared.

Drew and Jonathan are living proof that if you work hard toward what you want to do, you willsucceed. “If someone tells you that you can’t do it, go out and find five ways to do it,” Drew says. “We never gave up on anything we wanted to do.”

So how do they do so much, together, and not kill each other? They have a firm “no B.S.” policy, they leave emotions out of their decisions, and they air any issues right away so they can move on. They have a blast doing what they do, and they enjoy doing it with each other. “Which is important, because if I ever need an organ, he’d be a good donor!”

August 26, 2015

Common Home Selling Mistakes New Agents Face

Common Home Selling Mistakes New Agents Face

Everyone makes mistakes—even the most seasoned real estate professionals. Perhaps what sets the great listing agents apart from the not-so-great ones is that that they learned from their mistakes early on. Will you make home selling mistakes as a new agent? Absolutely. But you will also learn valuable lessons that will make you a better, stronger agent. Here are five common home selling mistakes that new real estate agents face.

Mispricing a home

Especially at the upper end, mispricing a home can end in disaster for the seller. Agents who specialize in luxury homes have to know how to price those homes. Michalene Lanzito-Melges, who heads Michalene Melges Properties at Keefe Real Estate (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin), warns that agents who don’t manage their clients’ expectations, and don’t go the extra mile to price a home accurately, could seriously damage their reputations.

“The most common mistake I see homeowners make,” she says, “is to mistrust the figures the broker or the appraiser shows them, and insist on listing the property at a price they feel in their heart is right.

“For example, you might insist that your house is worth $2 million, when your broker insists that $1.75 million is closer to reality. If you insist on listing it at $2 million, it’s very likely that you’ll have to adjust the price downward in a few weeks—and perhaps by that time the peak selling season will have passed, and a home that might have been snapped up immediately for $1.75 million will languish during the off-peak months at $1.5 million. When I list a property and it isn’t sold within 30 days, it’s because of the price. Period.”

Readjusting the price is an expensive process, Lanzito-Melges adds. When you adjust the price of a home, you don’t just revise the listing. You have to re-launch your entire marketing program, including the website. Lanzito-Melges always hosts a special “brokers’ open” event if she’s forced to re-introduce a property—and it’s hard to get agents to come to these, she admits.

Skipping the pre-listing inspection

“Not going the extra mile to determine the right price is another common mistake,” she says. “If the home is in a neighborhood where there haven’t been any recent sales, and/or the property is unusual for that neighborhood, your comps might be sketchy, and might paint an inaccurate picture.”

Agents should insist that the seller get the home into tiptop shape, and have it inspected, before listing it. “The seller will sometimes dispute the inspector, if something comes up as ‘substandard,’ she warns. “Of course if the seller disagrees with the inspector, they should tell you—but they need to know that the inspector’s word is final.”

Poor timing

Agents should also be certain that this is the right time for the client to sell. If they sell now, will they be hit with a tax event that they could avoid by waiting? Are they really eager to sell, and motivated, or will they be content to let the house linger on the market? Will they be ready to move out quickly if necessary? Do they have a deadline?

Poor home staging

“Poor staging of the house is another common mistake,” Lanzito-Melges says. “Each room should have some furniture and decoration, but it shouldn’t look like it belongs to anyone. Also, remember to sell the outside of the home as well as the inside. Many agents forget about a home’s curb appeal, so they don’t bother to make the lawn, porch, garage, and deck look beautiful. And hire a professional photographer who knows how to make a home look good on the internet.”

Poor advertising

As soon as a home is ready to be put on the market—before it’s listed—the agent should have a list of several potential buyers and should call them in person. Equally important, though, is to use all marketing avenues—print media, word of mouth, and especially the internet—to the fullest.

“It’s best not to allow clients to be present for showings,” Lanzito-Melges concludes. “You don’t want them commenting on ‘their’ home, or making suggestions as to how a certain room or feature might be used. Instead, you want to make prospective buyers feel that the home is already theirs.”